By Stephen Brandon
Copyright 2016 Stephen Brandon
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revised edition, spelling and grammar, 12 Dec 2016
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This book is a work of fiction. All characters, organizations, incidents, and dialogue are from the authors imagination or used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or other persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental. Real and fictional locations are used for background only.
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My wife has put up with me for over forty six years. Without her support and love I don't know who, what, or where I would be, so I thank her from the bottom of my heart, and I dedicate all my books to her!
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Table of Contents ~(ToC)~
About Stephen Brandon
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“What the hell is going on?”
“Don't sweat it boss. One of our guys ran across plans for a gate, only this gate works from the surface.”
“What about the control interface. Did they get it too.”
With a big smile Bill answered. “Yup, along with a target file of prior locations explored.
“Boss, you remember the classified memo's, they hinted that the window could only be held stable for a few minutes.”
“Yea, I remember.”
“Well, one of the whiz kids thinks that if we can align the gate with the rotational direction here, it'll stay open longer. He also theorized that if we didn't match exactly we could drag the window along the surface of the target and just shove stuff through.”
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Three years later in a cavern system in the rockies, everything was ready.
When they activated it, the pristine wilderness at the other end of the tunnel stunned everyone in the room. “Rotate the gate and lets see what's behind it.” As it started to rotate the wilderness blurred like the power poles on the side of the road. “Rotate faster before we loose it!” Dirt started piling up in front of the window and then into the test chamber. “Shut it down, shut it down!” As the window dissipatedly, the only proof was a pile of dirt reaching ten feet into the chamber with bushes and grass flung around it.
Pete commented, “Call the boss and tell him we had a successful test. Tell him we need a copy of all the gate addresses that the cartel is using.”
“Why do you want them Pete?”
“Bill, would you want to set up a colony on a planet that the cartel is using?”
“Get a crew together to get this dirt out of here. Send all the vegetation to the lab for analysis.”
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1. 73rd test was successful. Planet with Earth like dirt and vegetation located and recorded. Satellite launch scheduled within 48 hours. We can send an advanced party as soon as we verify that the Cartel hasn't occupied it.
2. Suggest that a 50 man crew of survivalist with weapons and rations for a year as the advance party. They will establish an outpost and put in a crop. The 2nd group will be trained and transported in 6 months. The 2nd group will consist of their wives and children with equipment to establish a 2nd outpost and village near the first outpost.
3. To prevent the Cartel from tracking our pioneers, only one group will be transported every 6 months. Future group size will be approximately 50 men with families, including one ton of supplies and equipment per person. Each future group will establish a village and then an outpost for the next group.
The council authorizes implementation of paragraph 2 and 3, with the provision that exploration for more planets continues.
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A Satellite was placed in orbit using the window. After a week of observations, the planet was determined to contain no life forms. The photographs showed two continents and two very large ice caps.
For six months wildlife was trapped and transported to the site in the rockies, then herded through the window to the new planet. Two years into the program of seeding wildlife on the new planet, it was considered a success when young animals were spotted.
The whiz kids came up with the reason the Cartel hadn't colonized the planet. It is coming out of, or going into an ice age. Average air temperatures were just above freezing and the polar ice caps covered parts of the two continents. That left the question of what kind of civilization they should develop. Agricultural, or immediate industrial with the goal of moving out into that solar system within a few decades.
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He men were heavily laden, but happy to see their wives and children. Six months preparing the village was too long for some of the children, they were hanging off their fathers like leaches.
As they entered the village, they were suddenly confronted by men in spacesuits. “Drop your weapons and equipment.” rang out from several directions.
All thought, The Cartel will never take us. The village leader drew his weapon as he pushed his wife and children aside.
The results of his move shocked everyone into immobility. The greenish line of light from one of the spacesuited figures threw him back, he landed in a limp heap.
The voice again stated, “Drop your weapons and equipment. Someone put restraints on that slave.”
One by one the men were searched with a machine and herded into a hovering aircraft. The captors were efficient. They even found the steel hide away knives in the mens and womens boots.
Ted was just regaining consciousness as the aircraft left the atmosphere. Everyone could see the blue sky fade to black. Ted immediately realized that the two men leaning over him still had their ceramic knives strapped to their arms. He whispered to the nearest, “What weapons do we still have?”
James answered him, “Just the ceramic ones. Their machine didn't recognize them. They even took the plastic forks, knives, and spoons.”
“That's very interesting. Tell the men to cool it, I'll signal when to attack.”
Herded into a large cargo bay the villagers saw for the first time what their captors looked like. When they took off their helmets, most had dull red heads, and were hairless. There was one with a greenish face and two with blueish faces.
Ted realized immediately that they'd been captured by aliens, not the Cartel. Stepping forward he straightened and demanded, “What right do you have taking us prisoner. We all free men.”
One with an emblem on his suit stepped face to face with Ted and stated. “We thought you were escaped slaves from the primitive transport signals received by our equipment. Even though you are an unknown species to us, you are now our captives and will be sold as slaves at our next port of call.”
“You would take free men and sell them as slaves?”
“Your primitive technology is no match for ours. We have to make a profit from our delay.
“First we'll implant a translator in each of you. That will increase your selling price. If you resist, we'll implant obedience chips also. I hate using them because they decrease the selling price. If you are all healthy, we'll make a good profit. Do any of you have any technical skills to increase your worth?”
James stepped forward and proudly stated, “No, we are all farmers. We were to prepare this planet for the others. They will be here soon.”
“So you are slaves!”
Proudly James announced, “No we are free men. Our group is escaping a oppressive government. We volunteered to be first.”
The alien raised his arm and pressed a colored circle on his spacesuit. “Captain, the group we captured has told us that they are escaping an oppressive government, and more will be arriving. I'll run this group through medical and put them in cargo bay 3.”
“Lieutenant Ki, the initial scan of their equipment indicates they are prepared to survive several orbits on their own. Have Sergeant Fee process the others and then bring the leaders to me.”
The doctor was surprised that they had so few parasites. After implanting a translation chip behind the left ear of the first group he cleared them from quarantine. “Sergeant, have some education machines set up for them.”
The Sergeant then took Ted and James and led them to the ships Captain.
Looking them over the Captain leaned back in his chair and announced. “Your cell scan is not registered as a member species of the Federation. Therefore you have no rights. Following your primitive equipment signals caused a delay in our schedule. The only reason we followed your signals was because a group of high value slaves escaped. You are lucky you're not them. All the owner wants back is their heads.
“Now, since I'm in a fairly good mood, I'll sell you as families. I can either sell you as pure slaves for life, or as contract slaves allowing your your freedom after twenty years. Your young-lings will not be included as slaves. As a new species, you will fetch a high price.
“You indicated that you are all farmers. Our education machines will imprint technical knowledge. As leaders, you will be first. I want you to inform Ki what skills each of your people will excel in.
“A new species doesn't gain citizenship unless there are at least ten thousand, and a basic technology level of one. That means they have space travel either by spacecraft or transfer technology. If you show a profit trend, I'll help your group escape from its oppressors. Talking to your leaders will give me that information and allow me to profit from helping you. To do that, I will need to know when the next group will arrive so my representative can travel to your origin planet. Think it over and tell Ki when you've made your decision.
“Sergeant, take them to bay 3 and arrange what they need as far a food and sanitation.”
“You two, what do you call yourselves as a species and individually.”
“I'm called Ted and he is called James. We call ourselves human beings.”
“Crap, everyone calls themselves human. Any other classification?”
“Some call our species Homo sapiens.”
“That will work, computer, register this species as Homo sapiens. Here is bay 3, I'll be back to check on you after shift change. The door has an alarm, so keep your people inside.”
Walking to the center of the bay, Ted called, “Tom, Steve, join us. What is your first impression and any suggestions?”
Tom spoke first, “I saw no indication of any ceramic materials. That's probably why their machines didn't pick up on our knives. The purple circle on their spacesuits and uniforms is their communication interface. Their uniforms are designed like a lighter version of the spacesuits they were wearing.”
“Yea, there is a definite hierarchy, but not designated by species. If you notice the sashes that many of them wear, the markings must indicate their rank and authority. I also noticed that some of the sashes have pockets sewn inside. I don't know what the ring at the bottom is for yet, but I did notice that they also have a snap that could possibly fasten to a waist belt.”
Ted then commented, “OK, the captain informed us that we would be sold as indentured slaves, that means we will supposedly be freed in twenty years. He said he'd sell us as families. Evidently, slavery is common. We have no rights in this federation. Also we will be given an education using their machines. I'm supposed to inform them of what skills will be most compatible with each individual. Evidently he wants to maximize profit by selling us as skilled individuals.
“Inform all adults to remain alert, but passive. When we get enough information, we'll have to strike everywhere at once.”
“Oh, one more observation, they all seem to be right handed.”
“Keep up the good work and report all new data to James. When I go under the education machine, he will assume command until it is determined that I've not been brainwashed.”
Lieutenant Ki came by later and pulled Ted aside. “The doctor wants to map your brain to set up the education machines.”
“Awhile later the doctor commented, “Very strange, almost all you brain patterns are opposite from the standard.”
“Doctor, do you have a ball or small object?”
“I want to demonstrate why.”
Ted tossed the ball first to the lieutenant. He caught it with his right hand. “Now toss it back.”
Instinctively he caught it with his left hand and immediately tossed it to the doctor. The doctor caught it with his right hand. “Toss it back immediately, we'll do this several times until a pattern is visible.” replied Ted.
After several tosses the doctor held the ball and looked at both Ted and the Lieutenant. “Ted, how many of your people use the wrong hand as the dominant hand?”
“It is called being left handed, Doctor. Probably only a few percent of the Homo sapiens are left handed. You'll need to test each individual to determine the dominant side of their brain before using the education machine on them. I don't want any of my peoples brains scrambled.”
The Lieutenant asked, “Does this left handed malady run in families.”
Ted replied, “It's not a malady or sickness, and no it does not run in families.”
The doctor then said, “Do you have any individual in your group that is more familiar with brain structure. I would like to interview and also test him.”
“Lieutenant Ki, can you go and bring Doc Smith, I'll wait here.”
Doc Smith asked as he walked in, “What's the problem Ted?”
“Their doctor wanted to check our brain structure before setting up the education machines. I noticed that they all seemed to be right handed, and I'm a lefty. Since I don't want my brain scrambled, I asked them to do a little ball toss demonstration. Their doctor saw the dominant hand pattern, then I suggested that you be brought in to explain that each individual should be tested before using the machine.”
The Doc looked at the alien doctor and said, “I'm not a brain expert, but test me, I'm right handed. Then I'd like to compare our brain scans with several from your crew.”
Hours later both doctors were finished. “You Homo sapiens seem to have equal size brain size on both hemispheres. The xapiens compared have a larger left hemisphere. Computer, compare brain scans on all crew for brain size of left and right hemispheres.”
The doctor pushed the communications button on his sleeve and said, “Captain, I've run across an anomaly that may increase the value of some of the Homo sapiens.”
“I'll be right down Doctor.”
The captain watched the ball toss for a few minutes and then commented, “I see a pattern, you are backwards. Is it an injury or what.”
The alien doctor then brought up four scans on his wall computer screen. “No Captain, the Homo sapiens have a slightly different brain structure than we do. Both hemispheres are approximately the same size, not like ours. Also, Ted indicates that a small percentage of their population has a dominant side different from the majority. They refer to this as being left handed. They tell me it is not a genetic trait that runs in families. It just happens. That means a small percentage of their population is unique, therefore possibly more valuable.”
The Captain hesitated and then said, “Ki, arrange for their leaders to have position markers. All the others will get wrist bands. Doctor, I want a full scan done on all the Homo sapiens right down to cell level, and the information put on their chips. Ted, as leader you will wear a sash like my officers do. Do you have any other individuals that should be so designated?”
“Yes Captain, our doctor here, and my agricultural specialist.”
“I hope you are worth the extra expense. Your group will now remain on this ship until we get to a major market. That will be in six more stops.”
“Thank you Captain, I shall inform my people.”
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One of the first alien soldiers that was instructed to start bring Ted's people to the medical office made a mistake. He walked in and grabbed the first person nearest the hatch. The child screamed. The nearest woman launched herself at him and drew blood with her fingernails before he could react.
Luckily he was unarmed, but he did manage to break her arm when he backhanded her. She fell screaming to the deck.
Every adult nearby started toward the alien soldier. He scrambled out of the hold and slammed the hatch and locked it, then reported the incident.
Lieutenant Ki heard Sergeant Fee order armed soldiers to the cargo hold to put down the riot. The Lieutenant immediately put a hold on that order and asked the soldier exactly what happened.
As he told the story, the Lieutenant stopped him and asked him what his mate would do it someone grabbed his child. The soldier stuttered, probably the same thing.
Ki turned to Ted and asked, “Can you calm them down, and bring a family here?”
“Yes Lieutenant, but it may take awhile.”
As Ted walked through the hatchway, his people backed up. “Listen up everyone. Humans are not the only people that have individuals that don't think before they act. That alien soldier was ordered to bring an individual to the medical section. He wasn't thinking when he grabbed the child. The alien doctor found out that our brains are not the same as theirs. My caution, because I saw all of them as right handed, and the fact that I'm left handed. The solution is to do a scan on each individual before anyone gets to use the education machine. I don't want anyone's brains scrambled. Each family will be escorted to the medical center for a complete scan, and then given a bracelet with the results. That way the education machine can be set up properly for each individual to safely use. Any questions?”
Escape by Stephen Brandon / Science Fiction have rating 2.9 out of 5 / Based on38 votes